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March 17, 2020

No SOPs for people’s safety as virus fear grips City

Lahore

March 17, 2020

LAHORE:As the fear of coronavirus gripped the provincial metropolis, City administration has failed to devise any SOPs for safety of the general public shopping from markets, including grocery shops, meat shops, fruits and vegetable shops.

Irony of the fact is that the government officials are holding meetings in their huge offices and “inspecting” the city in their luxury official cars. On Monday, all the city markets were open in which hundreds of thousands of citizens visited without any precaution. These markets included Anarkali Bazaar, Neela Gumbad, Shah Alam Market, Circular Road, Urdu Bazaar, Tollinton Market, Fruit and Vegetable Markets of the city, Ichhara Bazaar, The Mall and Jail Road. Similarly all restaurants and hotels, all parks and other recreational places, including Shalimar Garden, Racecourse Park, Lahore Zoo and Safari Park remained open and witnessed huge foot count on Monday as schools, colleges and universities are closed and students have nothing to do at home.

However, City administration sealed some marriage halls but people have started holding marriage functions at their homes. Similarly, several private schools are involved in calling their teachers at schools for planning. A principal of a private school said the government’s orders didn’t specify that calling teachers at school in the vacation was not allowed. She, answering a question, admitted that no hand sanitisers were provided to the teachers coming to school in the name of future planning.

On the other hand, majority of banks were also operating without providing any hand sanitisers to the customers. The scribe visited several banks to witness the situation and it was observed that most banks, leasing companies, installment shops were not providing hand sanitisers to the general public as well as their employees.

The situation of city markets is also not different at majority of shops in city’s commercial centres. Citizens said only a few shopkeepers were providing sanitisers to their customers and employees. They raised serious questions over the packing and delivery of goods and said the government should introduce SOPs for this.

Barber’s shops, health clinics, gyms, private and public hospitals, medical stores, homeopathic stores, clinics and other medical practitioners were taking Coronavirus casually by not introducing any preventive measures as well as providing hand sanitisers or hand washing facilities. Hundreds of thousands of corporate offices in the city are also unaware of the deadly situation may come out from the spread of coronavirus and most of them have not introduced any preventive measures.

Meanwhile, Walled City of Lahore Authority (WCLA) has closed down Lahore Fort for visitors whereas Badshahi Mosque and Greater Iqbal Park remained open. The situation at railway stations and city bus stands at Lorry Adda, Multan Road and Bund Road was very pathetic as no preventive measures were introduced by the government/city administration at these places.

The News tried to contact Commissioner Lahore Capt ® Saif Anjum but he didn’t receive the call nor replied to the SMS. Chief Officer MCL Ali Bokhari while talking with The News said that the government was in the process of making SOPs and they would soon be implemented. He said a massive awareness drive would also be launched in the City very soon as banners and posters were under preparation.